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Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Agriculture in Small-Scale Farming Systems: A Holistic Nonparametric Applicability Assessment in South Africa

1
Department of Agriculture, Faculty of Science & Agriculture, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa
2
Department of Agricultural Economics & Extension, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10030052
Received: 21 January 2020 / Revised: 20 February 2020 / Accepted: 22 February 2020 / Published: 26 February 2020
Current research focuses disproportionately on the characteristics of farmers to understand the factors that influence the introduction of climate-smart agriculture (CSA). As a result, there has been a failure to take a holistic view of the range of drivers and barriers to CSA implementation. Many aspects of technologies or practices that may encourage or inhibit the implementation of CSA and define its applicability are, therefore, not systematically considered in the design of interventions. The uptake of any practice should depend on both farmers’ characteristics and factors inherent in the practice itself. This paper, therefore, examines procedures for incorporating the applicability of CSA practices in a farm-level analysis based on the investigations conducted in King Cetshwayo District Municipality (KCDM) of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province of South Africa. How the farmers perceived the social, technical, economic, and environmental compatibility of the practices constituted the key goal of the inquiry. Data were collected through structured interviews using close-ended questionnaires, from a sample of 327 small-scale farmers (farmers with farm sizes of less than or equal to 5 hectares). The analysis made use of the Acceptance Level Index (ALI) and Composite Score Index (CSI). This paper establishes that, based on social compatibility, the farmers showed high acceptance for cultivation of cover crops (ALI = 574), agroforestry (ALI = 559), and diet improvement for animals (ALI = 554), based on technical compatibility, the use of organic manure (ALI = 545), rotational cropping (ALI = 529), mulching (ALI = 525) and cultivation of cover crops (ALI = 533) were highly accepted. With economic compatibility in perspective, the farmers showed high preference for mulching (ALI = 541), organic manure (ALI = 542) and rotational cropping (ALI = 515), while the use of organic manure (ALI = 524) was highly embraced based on environmental compatibility. Consequently, it is recommended that policies aimed at mainstreaming CSA technologies should pay adequate attention to their applicability in locations under consideration and emphasize the critical role of the provision of information on CSA technologies or practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: food security; greenhouse gas mitigation; holistic compatibility; resilience improvement food security; greenhouse gas mitigation; holistic compatibility; resilience improvement
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Abegunde, V.O.; Sibanda, M.; Obi, A. Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Agriculture in Small-Scale Farming Systems: A Holistic Nonparametric Applicability Assessment in South Africa. Agriculture 2020, 10, 52.

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